Swim Ireland Statement:
Swim Ireland would like to wish Grainne Murphy all the best on her retirement from competitive swimming. Grainne has been a wonderful ambassador to our sport, and her success in swimming has assured her a place in Irish aquatic history.
Swim Ireland National Performance Director Peter Banks commented: “Grainne is one of Ireland’s most talented athletes. She has achieved multiple medals at the European stage, as well as delivering recording breaking performances as both a junior and a senior. I wish her the very best on her next chapter.”
Swim Ireland CEO Sarah Keane echoed these sentiments: “On behalf of the Irish swimming community we wish Grainne the best on her retirement. Grainne has inspired many young athletes to pursue their dreams, and we wish her much success and happiness in the next phase of her career. Her achievements throughout her swimming career will be remembered for many years to come.”
Read Grainne’s statement below:
After thinking long and hard I have finally come to the decision to hang up my hat and
goggles at International level. I have had many amazing memories and experiences during
my years as a high performance swimmer and I will treasure them for the rest of my life.
The highlights for me included winning 3 gold and a bronze medal at the European Junior
Championships in 2009. Following this I competed in my first senior competition at the
World Championships in Rome where I just missed out on a semi-final. 2010 marked my first
year on the senior stage and I won a silver medal in the 1500m freestyle and was just pipped
for a bronze medal in the 800m freestyle at Senior European Championships in Budapest.
Texaco honoured me with the Young Sports Star of the year award in 2009 and in 2010 I won
the Irish Times Sports Woman of the year.
Unfortunately tough times followed for me as most swimmers and sports people would
understand. I had to undergo shoulder surgery which took me out of the pool for quite some
time. I managed to recover from that well and qualified for the 2012 London Olympic
Games. Quite publicly, things did not go well for me in 2012 when I suffered from glandular
fever which forced me to withdraw from the Games. It was a slow road to recovery and in
2014 things finally improved. I then made the decision to move to France to train. Living in
another country was an amazing life experience. I made some lifelong friends and trained
with top class swimmers.
I reached a crossroads in November of 2015. I suffered a severe lung infection that took a
long time to recover from. I realised that while I might make an Olympic Qualification time
for Rio, I did not feel like I would be competitive at the Games. I have always maintained
that if I go to a major championship I want to be at the top of my game and in the mix.
Currently I am finishing my studies in exercise and health fitness in The University of
Limerick. I am excited for what the future may hold for me and I would love to work in the
sports industry in some way.
I would like to say a massive thank you to all the organisations and people that helped me
during my career. I am grateful for the support received from Swim Ireland, Sport Ireland,
The Irish Institute of Sport, The Olympic Council of Ireland, Castletroy College, The
University of Limerick and UL Sport. Most importantly thanks a million to my family and friends who have supported me
during my career day in and day out.